Digital, Accelerated: How to Use Video to Connect with Customers

Digital, Accelerated: How to Use Video to Connect with Customers

Award winners, Marketing, Personal Lines, Small Commercial Lines, Technology

In a society where people are surrounded by images everywhere, video can be a powerful tool for agents to build personal relationships with clients.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust, and video gives clients a sense of an agent far beyond what they can get from a still photograph or written words.

But, as some camera-shy agents know, video can feel intimidating. An agent may be perfectly comfortable sitting across a desk from a client and explaining why rental reimbursement is important—but put a camera in front of the agent and they completely freeze up.

Getting comfortable on camera

Our staff members at McClain Insurance range in age from 20’s to 60’s, all with varying levels of comfort with being in front of a camera. When we started integrating more videos into our communications and marketing plans, we had to ease our staff in. We started with training employees to do video proposals, then we hired a professional videographer to film a video of the team at a community event we sponsored.

In the last few months, we’ve been using video more than ever. When our staff all started working from home in March, we began having a weekly team meeting on Zoom. Everyone was eased into seeing themselves and the other team members on camera. We started strategizing ways we could use videos on social media to stay connected with our clients and our community.

Surprisingly, some of the staff members who had been the most hesitant about using video were the first to volunteer. We started posting a weekly “Wednesday Wisdom” video with an agent sharing a few quick, easy insurance tips. And on “Team Thursdays,” one of our team members takes over our social media accounts and shares a few pictures and videos throughout their day.

We see these videos as a way of making deeper connections with our clients, especially when we’re not able to participate in community events or meet with clients in-person.

For agencies that are hesitant about making the jump into video, this is a great time to do it because everybody has already been forced out of their comfort zones.

Here are some of our tips for getting started with video:

Be authentic

Some agencies have invested in elaborate video productions complete with green screens, light towers and professional editing. It’s easy to see those productions and feel intimidated.

But, especially for videos for social media, it doesn’t have to be a big, polished production. You can just use your smartphone in a spot with decent lighting.

The finished product doesn’t have to be perfect. Just choose a topic you’re comfortable talking about and talk like you would to a client or a friend. As long as you’re being authentic, people will connect with that in one way or another.

Start small and unscripted

Posting videos on social media is low stakes. You’re using your phone, you can refilm as many times as you want, and if people don’t like it, you can delete it.

It might help to start with something that doesn’t have a set script. For example, you could film a quick video of your team at a community event, or on an outing to a local coffee shop. In fact, we’ve found that tagging local businesses when it’s relevant in our videos helps build a sense of community. The business can share it on their accounts and then we get people who aren’t our clients talking about our agency.

Tell a story

As you move into more set topics or educational content, try to tell stories instead of worrying about memorizing a script. Relate the insurance topic to something in your own life: “My neighbor asked me this question the other day …” or “My friend just bought a new house and was asking me about …”

For example, we had a team member who participated in a drive-by birthday party where you decorate your car and drive by someone’s house and honk and cheer. She used that story as a jumping off point to talk about how if you’re staying at home, maybe it’s worth reviewing your mileage.

Getting started

In the coming months and years, agencies are going to operate differently than they have in the past. They’re going to have be a lot more comfortable with remote workers and digital communications. Video will be a huge part of that.

People crave connections with other people. Video can help you get more personal with clients and staff members when you can’t be together.

How does your agency use video? Let us know in the comments below.

Ashley Abrams

Marketer and Agent, McClain Insurance Services

Ashley Abrams is a former marketing manager for McClain Insurance Services.

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Claudia Mcclain
4 years ago

Thank you, Safeco, for featuring our Marketing Director Ashley Abrams! Ashley has done an amazing job of gently, yet persistently, encouraging our entire team out of their comfort zones so that we can better communicate with our clients using video. Safeco, and fellow Safeco agents, have been tremendous resources for us on this journey! We are grateful for all of your efforts to provide the tools we need to grow our business.

Agent for the Future™